trentham long house exterior

This contemporary rural home was conceived as a collection of buildings housed under one big gable roof. 

The home manages to combine an old machinery shed, drive through loading zone and main farmhouse all in one cohesive structure. Meanwhile, the building’s form is reminiscent of the traditional farming structures that once dominated the area. 


The clients were looking for a flexible house that could cater for extended family, while also being low-cost and easy to maintain. 

Design response

trentham long house facade

With its natural, muted material palette, the house is able to reflect its environment. The spotted gum exterior cladding, for example, was chosen for its ability to patina over time, developing character and blending with nature. 

As per the clients’ request, the house is largely self-sufficient; heating costs are low and cooling costs are non-existent. 

trentham long house glazing shades

The home makes the most of its east-west orientation, including high north-facing glazing setback off the face of the facade to shade the house from midday summer sun. This glazing is also shaded by custom-made sliding screens that help block lower morning and afternoon sun. 

Flooring in the living spaces consists of stone tiles on a concrete slab that creates thermal mass. According to the clients, this primarily serves the home’s heating and cooling needs. Any additional heating required in winter comes from a high efficiency fireplace. 

trentham long house interior

Another key sustainability feature, all rainwater runoff from the roof is captured and stored in large water tanks, providing all water required within in the house and for irrigating the garden.